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I wrote a short story decades ago, which I lost when a computer technician erased my hard drive.  It was a story of discovery and transformation, and the good and bad things that happen when those occur.  I’m resurrecting the story for the millenium, but incorporating the story with a fictional character, Mr. Mann.  I wanted to do this to add another layer of depth to the thought that goes into our brand.  I’ll be adding chapters as I complete them….

Mr. Mann’s Design- the Novel

Prologue
Water from a summer afternoon downpour, like a biblical deluge, streamed down James Clark. He stood motionless on the sidewalk on Market Street just steps from the entrance from where he worked, oblivious to the wetness around him. Droplets pooled on his short brimmed beige hat, creating mini lakes which then cascaded down the wrinkles of his youthful face which got a little too much sun in his younger years as lifeguard at the Jersey Shore and later as crewman for Pennsylvania. The stream continued to the collar of starched white shirt, inside to his starched white protective undergarment so that the dampness penetrated from both the outside and the in. This created the illusion of multiple layers of clothing disappearing into flesh. His red and blue rep bowtie, replete with his Ivy League insignia, usually stood proudly and puffed, but now withered and wilted with each drip. His rope belt was cinched snugly around his taut waist, providing a dam of sorts initially to prevent overflow from the rivers above. But that too gave way, and the refuge of his khakis were soon soaked especially around the outline of his backside, textile clinging futilely to his rower’s legs and calves. His socks and brogues probably received the worst of things, being his last receptacles, with his feet swimming in what amounted to be leather jars.

Bounding towards him, hop skipping puddles like the triple jump, Warren Cruz was late for work. He normally ate lunch at Planet Pancit in his favorite seat at the counter in front of the cook with the other customers. This day however was filled with soup seekers from the damp weather and he had to wait longer than usual for a seat. He was prepared for the weather at least. A hoodie army jacket raincoat formed the first line of defense, which just came just at mid-thigh. His Japanese selvedge denim jeans were stiff and water repellent enough to protect his long legs. His jet black thick hair, although covered with the hoodie, was pomaded with styling gel which also did double duty in the downpour as a sealant. His shoes were vulnerable, however, being a leather/canvas slip on combination, but his agile sprint, along with masterful puddle footwork, helped him preserve their integrity.

As Cruz rounded the last corner to work, he didn’t see Clark standing motionless in the rain, and had no idea of the series of events that were about to unfold.

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